The overall design of the course is made clear to the student at the beginning of the course. The course introduction sets the tone for the course, lets students know what to expect, and provides guidance to ensure they get off to a good start.
Instructions make clear how to get started and where to find various course components.
Students are introduced to the purpose and structure of the course.
Etiquette expectations for online discussions, email, and other forms of communication are stated clearly.
Learning objectives are measurable and are clearly stated. The learning objectives establish a foundation upon which the rest of the course is based.
Assessment strategies are designed to evaluate student progress by reference to stated learning objectives; to measure the effectiveness of student learning; and to be integral to the learning process. Assessment is implemented in a manner that not only allows the instructor a broad perspective on the students’ mastery of the content, but also allows students to measure their own learning throughout the course.
The types of assessments selected measure the stated learning objectives and are consistent with course activities and resources.
Instructional materials are sufficiently comprehensive to achieve stated course objectives and learning outcomes. The instructional materials form the core of the course, and these standards respect the instructor’s prerogative in selecting them. The focus of this standard is on supporting the course objectives and competencies, rather than on qualitative judgments about the materials.
Forms of interaction incorporated in the course motivate students and promote learning. Engaging students to become active learners contributes to the learning process and to student persistence.
Course navigation and technology support student engagement and ensure access to course components. The technology enabling the various course components facilitates the student’s learning experience and is easy to use, rather than impeding the student’s progress.
The course facilitates student access to institutional support services essential to student success. In the learner support standard, four different kinds of support services are addressed: technical support, accessibility support, academic services support, and student services support.
The course demonstrates a commitment to accessibility for all students. The accessibility standard incorporates the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and is consistent with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).